The Best

Now that an increasing amount of smartphone manufacturers are selling their phones at cheaper price points, it’s much easier for consumers to afford an off-contract device rather than purchasing one with a two-year contract. At least in the United States, the way smartphones are priced has changed dramatically, and that’s a good thing.

So, what are the best smartphones out there for those who’d like to forgo the standard contract and buy unlocked? We’re here to take you through the best unlocked Android smartphones for under $250, under $500 and over $500. As always, if you have anything you’d like to suggest, be sure to speak up in the comment section at the bottom of the post.

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch. It’s also worth noting that this article is written for a U.S.-centric point of view, though (since they are unlocked) pretty much all of these devices are available outside of the U.S., at least in some capacity.

Update, September 2016: This month we added the ZTE Axon 7 to our list and removed the Moto X Pure Edition. While we would have added the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 here, we want to wait until all the recall issues are fully sorted and the phone returns to the market. At that time, we’ll update this post again and bring the Note 7 into the mix.

Best phones under $250

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Instead of announcing just one Moto G variant this year, Lenovo brought us three different devices – the Moto G4 Plus, Moto G4 and Moto G4 Play.

The highest-end of the bunch is the Moto G4 Plus, and it brings a handful of notable improvements to the Moto G range. It has a big 1080p display, capable processor, expandable storage, and even a fingerprint sensor this time around. While we had a slight problem with the volume/power buttons and the camera in low light, we can honestly say this is one of the best budget offerings in 2016.

Right now you can buy it in the U.S. for $249.99 through Amazon or Motorola.com.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 2/3/4GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm, 155g

Read more

Buy now from Motorola

OnePlus X

The OnePlus X is one of the best budget devices you can purchase right now. It’s compact, extremely fast, and boasts many of the same software features that come with its older brother, the OnePlus 2. It has an impressive 5.0-inch AMOLED display, a perfectly capable Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM, microSD card expansion up to 128GB and two SIM card slots.

There are a few things to watch out for, though. If you want to activate the device on AT&T or T-Mobile’s networks, you may not have great 4G LTE coverage, as the device is missing the appropriate bands. It also comes with no NFC on board, so you won’t be able to use mobile payment methods like Android Pay. Oh, and OnePlus has just axed the invite system for the OnePlus X, so you can now buy it from the company whenever you’d like, without waiting in line for an invite!

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly smartphone and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, get the OnePlus X. You can purchase it from OnePlus’ website for $249.99.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441 ppi
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2525 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm, 138 g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

honor 5X

Huawei has finally announced its plans to break into the US market with the honor 5X. The honor 5X was announced a number of months ago, but it was just recently revealed that the dual-SIM budget handset would be coming to the United States for only $200.

Featuring an all-metal build and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, the 5X absolutely comes to market with a few features that we don’t normally see on sub-$200 smartphones. It comes with a big 5.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 616 processor, 16 GB of storage and microSD expansion up to 128 GB. It also comes with a 13 MP rear camera, a pretty sizable 3000 mAh battery, and runs Huawei’s EMUI atop Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box. Huawei says the device will receive its update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow sometime soon, as well.

You can pre-order the honor 5X from Amazon in Dark Grey, Daybreak Silver or Sunset Gold color options for only $199.99.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2 mm, 158 g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best phones under $500

Nexus 6P

As the successor to last year’s Motorola Nexus 6, Google recently unveiled the Huawei-made Nexus 6P. This device is the higher-end of the two Nexus phones announced at Google’s event, and that’s incredibly apparent when looking at the spec sheet.

It comes with a big 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a giant 3450 mAh battery and an impressive 12MP rear-facing camera. Want to get your hands on one? The Nexus 6P is pretty cheap, considering the specs and build quality. You can purchase it from the Google Store starting at just $499!

We’ve just published our full review of this handset, and come to the conclusion that it’s up there with the best of the best.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 518 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 12 MP rear-facing camera, 8 MP front-facing camera
  • Non-removable 3450 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm, 178 g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store
Buy now from Amazon

OnePlus 3

OnePlus did a great job at hyping up its 2015 flagship, the OnePlus 2. After missing the mark in a few key areas like camera and software performance, though, it was very clear the company still had a lot of work to do.

Fast forward to 2016 and we now have the OnePlus 3. Not only does it fix many of the issues we had with the 2, it also brings some new software and camera features to the table that are definitely worth checking out.

With the OnePlus 3 you get a thin, all-metal unibody design, a Snapdragon 820 processor, a massive 6GB of RAM and a perfectly capable 16MP rear camera. The battery is a little smaller this time around, but it does come with Dash Charging technology that will be able to get you a 60% charge in just 30 minutes. Oh, it has NFC too!

The best part? You can buy it right now for just $399 without and invite. That’s right – OnePlus has finally done away with the dreaded invite system for good.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

ZTE Axon 7

ZTE’s Axon Pro from 2015 was a good phone, but it fell short in a few key areas. It came to market with only one storage option, no expandable memory, and the dual camera setup on the back of the device felt a bit gimmicky. Not only does the company’s latest flagship fix all of those problems, it brings much more to the table.

It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon processor, plenty of RAM, multiple storage options, and yes, expandable memory up to 256GB. It also sports some killer front-facing speakers, all-day battery life, a great camera, and a sleek, attractive design. While certain parts of the software could use a little more polish, the ZTE Axon 7 goes toe-to-toe with the best in the Android market. It’s also inexpensive at only $400, making this an even more attractive option for folks looking to score a solid flagship device.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 20MP front camera, 8MP rear camera
  • Non-removable 3250mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm, 175g

Read more

Buy at Amazon

Best phones above $500

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32 GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4 GB of RAM, great 12 MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, 152 g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157 g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from Amazon
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from Amazon

HTC 10

HTC needed a saving grace this year, and the 10 just may be it. The Taiwanese company finally designed a phone that’s different enough from its predecessor yet still sports a familiar design language. With an all-metal chassis, front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a new-and-improved speaker setup, the HTC 10 easily made its way to our best Android phones list.

Under the hood, the 10 comes with some killer specs. A 5.2-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of RAM are in line with most other flagships this year, and it also comes with expandable storage up to 200 GB and a 3000 mAh battery that will have no problems lasting an entire day on a single charge. HTC also improved the camera this time around, which was a big flaw in last year’s One M9 flagship.

All in all, the HTC 10 is an awesome device. Great specs and a solid build quality are what you’ll get here… what more could you ask for?

Specs

  • 5.2-inch Super LCD5 display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 565 ppi
  • 2.15 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm, 161 g

Read more

Buy now from HTC

LG G5

While the Galaxy S7 series is a minor refresh in terms of design, the LG G5 sees a massive departure from the design language used in the G series, ditching the rear volume/power setup that first debuted with the LG G2. The G5 also adopts a unibody metallic design that has a removable cap for access to the removable battery and a port for modules that allow users to expand the phone’s capabilities by adding a camera grip and other special accessories.

The distinctly different design of the LG G5 may not be for everyone, but there’s little denying that LG has went out of its way to try and innovate in a market where big changes like this aren’t all that common.

Spec wise, we’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4 GB RAM, a 5.3-inch display, and 32 GB storage with microSD for expansion. The specs here are certainly impressive all across the board. It’s also worth mentioning that LG has revamped its software, making it faster and less bloated. One controversial move with the software, however, is the removal of the app drawer in favor of what LG says is a “simplified experience.”

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 554 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 16 and 8 MP dual rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Removable 2800 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, 159 g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

It’s hard denying that Samsung has always been the king of large-screened smartphones, and that still holds true today. With its crystal clear 5.7-inch display, powerful Exynos 7420 CPU and killer 16 MP rear-facing camera, the Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best Android phones available on the market right now.

It’s an all-around solid device, boasting an all-glass chassis that’s similar to that of the Galaxy S7. It comes with an improved S Pen and some great multitasking features that will make it easy to get work done. The software is much more clean and simple than we’ve seen from the company in the past, too.

With all of that said, though, this device doesn’t come without its caveats. Samsung’s decision to omit the microSD card slot and removable battery has been a controversial one over the past few weeks, especially among Samsung die-hards. Even with these notable omissions, the Note 5 can still be considered one of the best out there.

If you’re looking for a big smartphone and money is no object, you should definitely consider picking up the Galaxy Note 5.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 518 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm, 171 g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

There you have it – our picks of the best unlocked Android phones you can buy right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

Check out our related best lists:

  • WitnessG

    I would put the OPO above the Nexus 5 easily. It beats it in almost every aspect; battery, camera, etc.

    • Phoenix Rulez

      Especially the camera. Still waiting for the day when Nexus take at least decent pictures.

      • moew

        Are you kidding? I have a 6P and an OPO. The 6P blows the OPO camera out of the water, every single time.

        Maybe you just crawled out from under a rock, I wouldn’t know, so I’ll give you that.

        • Phoenix Rulez

          You just replied to a comment from a year ago!!! You just crawled out from under a rock!!! My comparisons were for Nexus 5 vs OPO in 2014!!!

          • moew

            Something ain’t right, the article clearly says December 2015, so I’ll bet they recycled last year’s article. LG V10 and Xperia Z5 are also clearly in the article. What AA tomfoolery is going on here. Hmmm.

          • RedSamurai

            Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch. It’s
            also worth noting that this article is written for a U.S.-centric point
            of view, though (since they are unlocked) pretty much all of these
            devices are available outside of the U.S., at least in some capacity.

          • Kody

            Love your use of the word tomfoolery.

          • violet.lamay

            I currently make approximately $6 thousand-$8 thousand every month from working on the internet at home. Everyone prepared to work simple online tasks for 2-5 h /a day from your living room and make valuable salary for doing it… Test this task UR1.CA/pm79t

          • 40jimlloyd40

            The date at the top of the article clearly states Sept. 6, 2016. And where is the Axon and Alcatel Idol 4S? The Axon 7 is the best under $400.

          • Tim Turner

            Not with all the bugs… read their forums, scared me off.

        • Joonho Jung

          idiot confirmed

        • Brownsville#72

          Agree. Different strokes for different folks. Nexus 6 owner. Nexus updates security battery is my priority.

      • Jeremy Fortner

        yeah like the Blu pure xl

    • TeeJay1100

      To me the One Plus One beats every phone that is listed. On price and storage alone.

      • spence1997

        I am earning approximately 6,000-8,000 dollars /month for freelancing i do from my home. For those of you who are ready to do basic computer-based jobs for few h /day from your living room and earn good payment while doing it… Then this gig is for you… OW.LY/XMPL302l42G

        efe

    • Except for the fact that it’s still invite only and very hard to get your hands on,

      • WitnessG

        It is actually very easy to get it. If you spend a few minutes, you can easily get an invite and 1+ has had multiple events to buy it without an invite.

        • I know of the events, but they sell out pretty fast. Also, how do you get an invite? Like, seriously. How?

    • Kimberli564785

      I currently get paid in the range of 6.000-8.000 dollars every month from freelancing online. Anyone looking to work easy computer-based jobs for 2-5 hrs daily at your house and earn good paycheck while doing it… Try this job SELF40.COM

  • lemawe

    Where is the asus zenfone 5 ? Same price as moto g, better build quality and way better and faster with the intel processor, 2gb ram and sd card.

    • Jayfeather787

      Better ROM support with snapdragon. Intel for desktop, not for phones.

      • lemawe

        They are two versions, a Snapdragon S400 one and an Intel Intel Atom Z2580. And no, Intel is not only for desktop, and fortunately they don’t listen to you.

  • Jayfeather787

    Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Xiaomi Note Pro.

    • Anonymousfella

      Let the sales commence first!

  • Fabio S

    Where’s my Oppo Find 7? :D

    • Harrold Pok

      OPO

  • TeeJay1100

    Every phone in the above $450 category, isn’t worth the price that they are asking. It amazes me to see people paying those outages prices for a unlocked phone. SMH

    • The-Sailor-Man

      On 2y contract they cost actually much more. But ppl in US haven’t enough brain to calculate it.

      • TeeJay1100

        I can’t stand contracts. I totally despise them. Unfortunately, most of us in the United States love them.

  • Kevin Mortenson

    Why is the Nexus5 above the OnePlus? The OnePlus is better in every single one of the specs listed, even the price. I have owned both and was a die hard nexus fanboy but I like the OnePlus more, its just a better nexus than the nexus.

    • TeeJay1100

      You speak the truth. I only bought Nexus phones. Sold my 5 and got the OPO and love the phone. I won’t go back Nexus unless they beat these little OEM’s in price, battery, camera, and storage.

    • CreepyTurkey

      its because the OPO is hard to get right now so people that want a good phone under 450$ will choose the nexus 5 for an easier way
      that’s my theory though

    • Dennis Johnston

      O
      I also had both and recently got an lg g3 for the same price as I got my n5 and opo, and I do have to say the lgg3 kicks the crap out of the former two;)

  • YeOldeRam

    FLAGSHIP KILLER

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Note 4. Period.

  • norcal1953

    You missed the unlocked Huawei Ascend Mate 2, at steal for a phablet at $299, and the locked – but no contract required, because offered by prepaid carriers – ZTE Zmax 5.7″ from T-Mobile and ZTE Max+ (the 1280*720 version, not the outgoing low-rez Max – no “+” – version) from Cricket, both about $200, the Zmax discounted by Walmart right now to $179.

  • José A. Medina

    is the Lg G3 worth or should i wait for the new releases?

    • Guest

      It’s an awesome phone. I’ve had it for a month now, rooted it and have 0 complaints. I’m sure the g4 will be a great phone as wel, but you will be extremely happy with the g3. Fas, no lag, removable battery and expandable memory, and don’t forget about the beautiful 4g screen.

    • I bought my G3 in December ’14 and it’s an awesome phone! If you can wait a while and can spend some extra $$, G4 could be worth the wait.

  • ShitMyNameWontF

    Typical AA that places Nexus devices above all else regardless of reason. The OPO is clearly better in every single way.

  • Eric Cartman

    Doesn’t the unlocked LG G3 not work on North American LTE bands?

  • I already have Lollipop on my LG G3.

  • Anonymousfella

    Until the Nexus 5 is refreshed for 2015, OPO> N5

  • Harjifangki

    I’d rather use Asus Zenfone or Zenfone 2 rather than Xperia M2. It’s cheaper and faster.

  • Ruby H.

    Nexus 5 tops the OnePlus One? And the Xioami RedMi Note not making the under $250 list when it’s currently the best selling phone in Asia? Can someone on the AA editorial staff please claim, for full disclosure that none of the companies listed here are paying promotional fees to your company?

    • Walter

      Well there was a disclaimer at the end of the article.

  • Gary

    Do all those factory unlocked GSM phones have a warranty for the US?

  • Farhad Ahmad

    Very interesting detailed information about which phones to buy and which not to? I have had a couple of the above mentioned phones but no one could beat what I have now. I own an iDROID King which has superb specs and excellent call quality. It is manufactured by iDROID USA and ranks up there with the top-notch category of phones. http://www.idroidusa.com/english/idroid-king.html

  • LiterofCola

    the Galaxy S6 tops the Z5? Garbage.

  • trwb

    I would not recommend the g4 and I would not call the 808 one of the best processors out there. G4 is wicked laggy and had can’t hold its top clock speeds for more than a couple seconds. I am going back to the moto nexus 6 myself. The 805 runs much better imo. I would steer clear of the 808 and 810 if you already have a phone that meets your needs, just wait till the 820 phones come out.

    • Exare

      I’d steer clear of LG altogether, really. I’ve had very bad experiences with their products for quite a few years. I’ve had a few LG TVs and a Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 was great for about 6 months but then it started to constantly drop signal when the screen went to sleep (ATT), the battery only lasts for half the day, the charger port is all wonky and fragile, and the worst part is that it lags like a mother if you put it under any sort of load. My phone isn’t rooted, it’s running stock Marshmallow (every update made it faster for about 2-weeks, then back to the same old issues), and I’ve done 3 factory resets over the last year to try and fix it to no avail. Plus, it’s built like crap. Even though the back feels nice and the screen looks good, the casing has all kinds of cracks around the outside of it because the plastic they used to encase it was too thin (I do keep it in a protective case too).

      My experience may be different than others, I mean I bought the Nexus 5 a year after it came out because of all the stellar reviews. Unfortunately I’ve not had the luck others have had.

      As for my TVs; the mid-high range model I got (2013) suffers from poorly optimized software and the hardware is seriously under-powered to run it. The picture is decent, but the light bleed is horrendous and the darks might as well be gray; the contrast ratio is complete garbage compared to similarly priced models from Samsung and Sony. Not only that, the wireless crapped out in less than 6 months and I had to run a cable all the way to the TV to get content streaming to work (which I ultimately replaced with a Chromecast). Firmware updates did not fix this and with each one more and more things stopped working.

      Their lower-end models are OK; the sub-$400 range (2015). You get good colors for what you pay for, but that’s about it.

  • Alex Palade

    Motorola Moto G 3rd with 1 GB RAM , Huawei P8 Lite or Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 for Facebook, Browsing, Photos and Light Games?

  • Alex Palade

    Motorola Moto G 3rd with 1 GB RAM , Huawei P8 Lite or Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 for Facebook, Browsing, Photos, Design and Light Games?

  • Monkey D. Dragon

    hmmm which one to buy

  • 4ron

    No BlackBerry Priv? Consumer Reports rates it on par with the Nexus 6 P and iPhone 6S Plus.

  • Mark

    i cant even view your page without those damn promotions taking me away from what I am reading…what a joke!

  • vmxr

    heh samsung phones are the only ones with physical keys…. oems should make more phones with physical keys

    • ASYOUTHIA ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Not true, my V10 has VOL +/- and power buttons that are physical buttons

      • vmxr

        you know what i mean the three famous home, back, multitask buttons. your v10 are soft buttons

        • ASYOUTHIA ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          Ohhhh you mean capacitive buttons?? LMFAO those archaic things?? If you want those look to the OnePlus for those the One had them

  • Daggett Beaver

    Wow – there are no bylines to identify the authors, but for at least one author, English is his/her second language. Or maybe third. Or fourth.

  • jay

    What is the issues with the camera all the time? Makes a picture and that’s all never look at pictures again and again or know which phone it took… For me software and build quality is important

  • staylow

    The BLU Vivo 5 should have probably been on there. Had mine for about a month now and it’s a really solid performer.

  • Jeremy Fortner

    I have the S7 and its great but I also own the Blu Pure XL and let me tell you its even better especially when price is taken into consideration its not even close.

  • shonangreg

    Why aren’t android updates mentioned? These SIM-unlocked phones don’t have to deal with carrier approval for updates, and if reviews typically mention how often and how long they update their phones , then the manufacturers will respond and up their game.

    The situation seems terrible now. You either pay for a Nexus or an iPhone and live with crippled phones (no micro-SD, disabled USB-OTG, bad or no hdmi-out, removed mircast, etc.) Or you live with nearly no updates.

    The review sites could change this.

  • Nick Spihlman

    The Nextbit Robin is much better than the 5x. This is just a list of devices from mainstream companies

    • Marty

      The 5X has the same camera as the 6P. I own a 5X and find it to wildly underrated. It’s a really nice and smooth phone.

  • saswat nayak

    OP3 > Nexus 6p who else agrees ?

    • ErnChen

      Not really comparable. N6P is pushing more pixels with an older SoC. SD810 throttles like there’s no tomorrow. Qualcomm rectified that problem in SD820.
      N6P takes some amazing photos, even in low lighting situations.

      • saswat nayak

        & I bought Oneplus 3. It’s better in every aspect except display resolution I think. fully satisfied

  • Messibest

    Bought Oneplus X and Honor 5x for 199.99 each on Amazon

  • C Lo

    If the new Nexus device is $400 or less for the “Marlin” version, I will buy it.

  • jim

    Best Android Is OnePlus 3 Guys.
    Low price, amazing design, PERFECT SPECS.

    Nothing else

    • Joonho Jung

      gimme a break lol. op3 is the best android phone? dont u mean the s7 edge or the axon7? op3 has 6gb ram but cant even use 4gb cuz of its weak battery. and exynos 8890 beats the crap outta laggy snapdragon 820. the s7 edge also has 24bit upscaling, the best camera, and a bigger battery. also, unlike the op3, the axon7 can utilize all of its 6gb of ram with no battery problems, plus a better camera

      • jim

        do you believe s7 edge is better? No thanks. Exynos with problem with custom roms? No thanks

      • Marty

        Exynos is shit, pure and simple. It’s always been a laggy-ass POS SoC.

  • Eric Krauter

    Whats up with all the non removable batteries ?

  • Sabeeh Saqib

    Where in the hell is the Huawei P9?

  • Marty

    Axon 7 will blow all these away…except the S7.

  • MrcheGuev

    I’d add the xiaomi redmi pro , even if it’s a mtk helio x25 in it , the look , double cam, battery and fingerprint for this price is awesome !

  • Rishu Agrawal

    No Axon 7?

    • ErnChen

      I was wondering the same. This list is somewhat dated or biased. I wpuldnt recommend buying the Moto X Pure Edition at this point, unless it’s dirt cheap like $200 for the 64GB config.

  • Ordinary Geek

    Hmmm… No mention of the Axon 7 on here, and they just rated it as an Editor’s Choice last week. You’d think they didn’t update their list or something, but the OnePlus 3 (or, as I like to call it, the “4”) is on here. What to think?

  • Josh Zheng

    How is the ZTE axon 7 not on this but, LG g5 on it?

  • Rob Ayotte

    I would like to see a head to head of the Moto G4Plus with the recent ZTE max Pro. Specs are similar, but what about the screen outside (visability) and performance when you go with the higher 4GB of ram onthe 4+. With android N around the corner I don’t want to get a phone that will become useless upon upgrade like my old Moto G first gen. Or..did ZTE just knock the Moto G4 off the top pick?

  • Bradly Robberson

    So the editors choice for the year the Axon 7 did not make the best phone list, This must be the list if the manufacturers gave them money to make the list, like the Nexus 6P, last years phone. Not a real good list-seems quickly put together with no real thought.

  • Heiro78

    Why no ZTE AXON 7?

    • Tim Turner

      Too many bugs, and this is September.

      • Heiro78

        my post was 2 months ago, and if we are talking about september then theres been an update to address a few of them.

  • Austin Morton

    Glad to see the POS V10 removed. I see and hear a bunch of “good” reviews for the piece of crap, which makes me wonder if they actually use the phone. I mistakenly bought into it when I learned tmobile wasn’t renewing their contract with sony, xperia z1 & z1s being the best smartphones I’ve ever owned. The v10 is worse in every way compared to my older Sony’s. I’ve been through 2 of these v10s due to hardware issues, my brother as well. I am anything but physically hard on phones. Minus case wear, my phones always appear new at the end of their time with me.

    But I digress. I am now trying to choose a new phone for tmobile from this list. Looking at the sub-$500 phones, as none of the more expensive options appeal to me. Any recommendations with mobile in mind?

  • 40jimlloyd40

    Why the hell do you post a story titled “Best unlocked Android phones (September 2016) and then have comments from a year ago?

    • Yeah, when I saw OnePlus X in this, I knew something wasn’t right. Lol.

  • mcdonsco

    If htc hadn’t screwed up and put an LCD in the 10 I probably would have bought one…just a stupid move on their part.

  • Josh Zheng

    This isn’t even ranked by best phones. It’s rated by popularity

  • Zach

    Moto g4 plus has an octocore snapdragon 617, not quad core as mentioned in the description.